CA Tackles Cloud Consulting With 4Base Buy

CA Technologies has spent the last year or so scooping up cloud computing and virtualization players in a bid to bulk up its arsenal of cloud offerings to better compete in the burgeoning marketplace.

But something was missing: A consulting wing that will take all of these newly-acquired cloud computing elements and tie them together to help companies adopt and implement them.

That was the rationale behind CA's acquisition of 4Base, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based privately held cloud infrastructure and virtualization consulting firm. CA, of Islandia, N.Y., did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

According to CA, 4Base will become the pivot point for the CA Virtualization and Cloud Strategy group, a competency practice within the CA Services Division. 4Base's main mission is to help customers "move quickly, pragmatically and successfully from virtualization to cloud by providing strategic advice and implementation expertise." 4Base has worked on more than 300 projects and boasts major players like eBay, T-Mobile and Visa among its client-base.

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The 4Base buy shows that CA realizes making the leap to the cloud can't be made with just a snap of the fingers and that companies are grappling with how best to move forward into cloud computing.

"As strongly as folks want to believe that everything can be solved with a mouse click, the rise of boutique consulting firms focused on cloud and virtualization tells you that there's a need here," Jay Fray, CA's vice president of business unit strategy, wrote in a blog post highlighting the acquisition. Later, Fry added that 4Base has "seen the intricacies that IT departments are faced with daily when trying to go from a fluffy, conceptual future to a working implementation."

It also doesn't hurt, Fry wrote, that 4Base has standing relationships with market leaders like Cisco, Citrix, EMC, Microsoft, NetApp and VMware. Knowledge CA will use to augment its relationships.

"In fact, their partnership with VMware will be a great way for CA Technologies to expand our existing relationship with the market share leader in virtualization," Fry wrote.

4Base offers CA customers a host of services ranging from virtualization operations readiness assessments, to virtualization capability assessment and strategy, to cloud-based advisory services. And more are on the way, Fry said.

"These types of offerings give CA Technologies the opportunity to provide the benefit of our experiences in planning out a customer's cloud approach, and the opportunity to help see this through to its roll-out," Fry wrote. "Same with virtualization. Customers can make use of as little or as much of these capabilities as they need."

Fry added that while the cloud is being hyped as simple, its inherent complexity is being overshadowed and cloud and virtualization implementations have been prone to stalling as customers find themselves in the thick of a complicated deployment. CA brought 4Base aboard to stop that trend of "virtual stall."

"While it's true that no one's looking for complexity, we know that complexity is with us in current, more traditional IT environments," he wrote. "As we get early cloud computing implementations off the ground, I don't think we have much choice: complexity will follow IT to the cloud (and back) as well."

The 4Base purchase continues CA's cloud computing strategy which recently saw the launch of its Cloud-Connected Management Suite and the detailing of a three-pronged cloud security strategy.

The Cloud-Connected Management suite ties together several of CA's recently acquired cloud computing tools and is the fruit of a near-long acquisition shopping spree that saw CA scoop up Cassatt and its software for operating data centers like cloud computing utilities; 3Tera and its platform for building and deploying cloud services; Oblicore and its service-level management applications; and Nimsoft and its line of IT performance and system availability tools.